With the mining industry nearing a crisis situation, small and medium scale miners are asking that the APNU+AFC administration do more to address several important concerns and put measures in place to protect them.
Ever since the price for the raw commodity began falling on the international market several calls have been made for successive governments to so something to cushion these effects being faced by the miners.
The effects included increased production costs with lesser profits and have led to the miners asking for some concession to be granted. Though several hefty concessions were promised, nothing has materialized.
At a Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) meeting on Friday the Administration was bashed for the perceived lack of any clear policy for the sector.
The mining and quarrying sector represents a critical component of Guyana’s economy, contributing to over 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product.
GGDMA Executive Edward Shields criticized the government for not producing a clear policy for the sector; even after being in government for a year.
“They are making policies not laws and this industry right now is governed by don’t do this…if somebody does something wrong they are not going after that person…they are going for the broad brush,” he noted.
He said that from all indicators, the APNU+AFC administration is preparing to ditch the mining sector for a more lucrative oil and gas sector.
“As far as I am concerned…they only got time now for the two big companies…buying time for the oil and then they done with you,” he stated adding “the most I could tell all yuh is to get ya laundry bill, clean up your entrance because eventually…we will have to go.”
Meanwhile, GGDMA President Terrence Adams expressed similar concerns noting that each Government official presents different ideas on the way forward.
“You go to a meeting with one person and they tell you this I s they are going to do…you go to another meeting and they tell you something else. It is very confusing,” he said.
“We need to know from the boss himself…what is the way forward for mining…and what is the government’s policy for mining. We love foreign investment we want more Aurora’s we want more Troy’s and these things that’s not the problem…you can’t forget the contribution of the local miner,” said another executive Adron Alphonspo.
These concerns were raised one day after Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman heaped praises on the small and medium scale miners declaring a leap in gold declaration for 2016.
As of last week gold declarations for 2016 were 243,000 ounces while for the corresponding period last year, 151,000 ounces of gold were recorded.